For Peno's Pepe Kehm, Calabrian Food Is All About Soul

Apr 09, 2019 624

Pepe Kehm likes to say that he has the restaurant business in his DNA, a trait he traces back to his great-grandmother who immigrated to St. Louis from the Italian region of Calabria in the early 1900s. All ten of her children ended up in either entertainment or the restaurant business, so Kehm believes he was destined for such a life. However, it was the time he spent with his mom that really sealed his fate.

"My fondest memories are of being able to cook with my mom," Kehm recalls. "I was the youngest, so I was always with her. My sisters would set the table and do the dishes, but I was the one always cooking with her. We were making my grandmother's recipes that weren't written down — simple Calabrian food."

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